In today’s highly competitive and noisy world, it can be difficult to show your appreciation to your clients.
Saying thank you to the people that help make your business successful is an important way to keep communication open and a great way to keep your name and your business top of mind.
But what can you do that sets you apart from every other business?
There are many fun, creative and innovative ways to tell your clients and customers that you love and appreciate them.
Take the Plunge
Most businesses wait until the Happy Holiday winter season to send gifts and cards to their clients. So businesses receive scores of candy, food and other items, probably not remembering who actually sent them.
But there is a better way.
Use other times of the year to send your Thank You, such as Valentine’s Day or Thanksgiving. Or stand out completely and send your appreciation gifts when they will be remembered—a non-holiday time.
By focusing on the less busy times of the year, your gifts will really stand out and be appreciated.
Also, use your imagination and sense of fun when creating something really special for your clients. And it does not need to be expensive to get the job done right. Here are some fun and innovative ways to make your clients feel valued:
Send Cards on Unusual Holidays
Everyone gets cards on the major winter holiday, but it will have more impact if you sent a card on Valentine’s Day, their birthday or even the first day of spring!
A great customer service idea is to send customers a card on their anniversary date with your business. Keep it professional but make it fun!
Help Your Customers Learn Something New
The more educated your customers become about your product or service, the more they will appreciate your offerings, and become more valuable to your business.
Offer free training by you, your staff or bring in an expert. The result will be a more appreciative customer base and more business for you.
Create an Amazing Experience for One Client
Give one lucky client an over-the-top, WOW experience and let that person tell their great story—to everyone they can! Share it on your website and social media—with their permission of course.
Send a Personalized Gift
Does your client have a hobby or specific interest? Then find a gift that personifies that interest.
This is an area where you can make it fun. If your client is a SyFy fan, Photoshop a poster with you both saving the universe! It shows that you really listen and they will be appreciative.
Spend Quality Time on Their Front Line
This can be as simple as bringing lunch to your client’s office and inviting anyone to join. Your job is to sit and listen about what they do every day and the issues that they face.
This can be an incredible learning experience for your business. And it’s great customer service.
Give a Great Book
Provide your clients with copies of the books that have been most influential to your business. This is especially effective if your client base is composed of other businesses.
Make sure you put a personalized note inside each book so your client knows that this is a thank you just for them!
Start a Loyalty Program
A VIP program that rewards your great customers is really popular. You can create a simple one that provides a coupon or discount on their anniversary date with you.
You can also tie this in with your social media strategy by creating exclusive circles or groups on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can reward your savvy social media customers with exclusive promotions and special announcements about products. Some companies create a system for earning and using reward points to build loyalty.
Take the Time to Meet with Non-Local Customers
If you have customers that are spread out around the country—or the world—take the time to take them out for coffee when you or your staff visits their city. This is especially effective if you are an online business.
This can leave a lasting impression on both of you. Take pictures and place on your website.
You can show your love for clients by highlighting them on your website. This makes a client feel special and gives them pride in doing business with you.
You can also feature a customer on Twitter and let them know how much you value your relationship.
Give a Charitable Gift in Their Name
Rather than send another set of cookies, give a lasting gift to their favorite charity. Or you can select a charity and ask to name that gift after a project you both worked on.
Offer a Surprise Upgrade
Airlines have really honed this one through their frequent flier program. You can offer this to your best customers or just select one client for a spontaneous gift.
Throw a party for your clients. Make it a picnic, wine-tasting or clam bake. Make it social and make it fun! This is a great way to get to know your clients on a more social basis.
If you have a brick and mortar location, provide a gift when they come to your place of business. It can be a sample of your product, a flower or a button.
Studies have shown that a freebie can significantly increase the amount that your customers purchase.
Give Spontaneous Discounts
Show appreciation by giving a spontaneous discount off one bill—just because you value their business and want to say thank you. This will delight your customers and show that you care.
Invite Clients to an Industry Event
Is your trade or professional group bringing in a great speaker? Invite your client to join you in attending. This is a great way to spend quality time and bond with your clients.
There are myriad ways to show your clients and customers that you love them. You are only limited by your imagination. It does not have to break the bank. Sometimes it is the simplest strategies that work best.
Don’t forget that a hand written note of appreciation can have a lasting impact. Since very few people do that anymore, when you receive one you will always remember getting it.
And we want to leave a lasting and positive impression!
Diane Weklar, the Authority on Accelerating Business Growth, is the CEO of the Weklar Business Institute. She is the author of the award winning book, Mastering the Money Maze: 10 Secrets to Winning Business Financing,which is also an Amazon #1 Best Seller. This book provides practical insight to build a successful business and the practical steps to raise capital to help your firm grow. She can be reached at Diane@Weklar.com.